Daily Israel Report

Netanyahu Meets U.S. Senator, Discusses Syria

"We're monitoring the events in Syria very closely," PM Netanyahu tells Senator Ted Cruz (R-Texas).
By Elad Benari
First Publish: 12/18/2012, 4:14 AM

Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu met on Monday with U.S. Senator-elect Ted Cruz (R-Texas).

At the start of their meeting, the Prime Minister said, "I'm welcoming you to Israel on your very first visit. You're a friend of Israel; the United States is a close ally of Israel. We have not only common values but face common dangers.

"One of these dangers," said Netanyahu, "is the unfolding events in Syria. We're monitoring very closely the possibility of the use of chemical weapons in Syria. President Obama has spoken forcefully about this. Israel and the United States have close consultations about this issue and it highlights the dangers of these regimes receiving such weapons and these weapons can even go from there to terrorist organizations.

"This is a threat to Israel, a threat to America, a threat to others in this region. We treat it accordingly."

Cruz replied by saying, "I look forward to working to strengthen the already incredibly strong alliance between the United States and Israel. In my view the United States should stand unshakably alongside the Nation of Israel. I thank you personally, I thank your nation for its leadership for democratic values in a very dangerous region of the world, also for your leadership protecting the security of the nation and ultimately of the United States as well, with respect to weapons of mass destruction, whether in Syria or Iran or elsewhere and I look forward to continuing to work together to strengthen that friendship."

U.S. officials several weeks ago said there was evidence that Syrian President Bashar Al-Assad's troops had not only moved deadly sarin gas that might be used against rebels, but also that its binary components, usually stored separately, had been combined and placed into bombs for use.

The United States and its allies, including Israel, have repeatedly expressed concern that Syria's stockpile, believed to be one of the biggest in the world, could be stolen and fall into extremist hands or be transferred to the Hizbullah terror group by a crumbling Syrian regime.

A former top general in Syria's chemical weapons program said last week he doesn't doubt for a moment that Assad will deploy his chemical weapons arsenal as he tries to hold onto power.